Am I being unreasonable? Christmas, ex, and my mum

(212 Posts)
oldbaghere Tue 17-Dec-13 11:42:08

Issue from my other thread but I am raging and may have lost perspective.

My mum is terminal. Pancreatic cancer diagnosed yesterday.

Asked my ex if he would swap and let me have the kids on chrostmas day.

He consulted with his family and says no.

Aibu to think that's totally unfair and he is a cunt?

His SIL had to be consulted. She does year about. She said no and refused to swap, apparently.

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 20-Dec-13 08:21:02

The children may still be legally considered children but they also would be listened to in court (if it went that far) re: their opinions about contact. So, you do not have to send the younger ones and I wouldn't if I were you, only if they don't want to go obv.

Turkeywurkey Fri 20-Dec-13 08:16:49

I do understand why you might not want to take it to this level by the way but it might be possible.
I've been thinking about this all night and feel so frustrated on your behalf. I do hope you get some resolution on this and that you and your mum are able to have a good christmas no matter what happens with this. X

Turkeywurkey Fri 20-Dec-13 07:58:03

We were told that if DSDs mother broke the court order there was not much a court would do about it I'd it unless it were a pattern of behaviour and even then there might it would depend on the circumstances.
I really don't think you should worry about breaking the order on this occasion from that point of view though I appreciate your other reasons.
I also wonder if you do in fact have time to apply for a variation. I know people who have asked for a specific issue order in a very rapid space of time, turned up to the court and had it dealt with that day.
The courts are reasonable people, they will see this is reasonable.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 20-Dec-13 07:49:28

Op, don't get upset about that particular posters stance on the matter.

Just look at a few of her posts around the boards and you will understand very quickly why.

Vivacia Fri 20-Dec-13 07:21:54

I'm glad you and your eldest have spoken and cleared up misunderstanding. Sounds as though there's at least one person putting the well being of the children first.

RedorBlack Fri 20-Dec-13 06:57:02

Yes makes perfect sense. Normal contact is every day life. Changing your plans/ days /arrangements is a favour.

Favours are like respect in my book, they go both ways or not at all.

oldbaghere Fri 20-Dec-13 06:54:11

I'm not using the phrase doing him a favour in any way with regards to his access to the kids. I am only using it in so far as I am being put out to do a favour for him - ie it means me changing my plans.

Does that make sense?

RedorBlack Fri 20-Dec-13 06:39:45

I'm so sorry op about your mum & your utter shit of an ex. What an appalling excuse for a human being he is. This will come back & bite him one day

You could call the favours or flexibility, either are accurate to date, but from now on, with as much cold steel as you can muster call them "no longer possible".

Can I have the kids next Sunday fir xyz

That's no longer possible

I need them for abc

That's no longer possible

Can you take them shopping for...

That's no longer possible

No discussion no elaboration just repeat.

oldbaghere Fri 20-Dec-13 05:54:33

Out of interest, HappyMummyofOne, what should I call it when he asks me to put myself out and change my plans to accommodate him? I use the phrase "asking me a favour" because that's what I would call it if a friend asked me to do something for them.

What should I call it when he does the same?

oldbaghere Fri 20-Dec-13 05:38:01

If we had time I would go for a variation of the order for this year. But we don't have time. And actually, what would it achieve? The kids know, and at some point they will realise. And I will pick up the pieces. If I had gone for a variation and fought this - I would have been the bad one who denied him his rights to his access blah blah and it would have given him yet another stick to beat me with.

He isn't normal. His thought processes and behaviours are not normal - except in his head to him. I work with a woman who used to work very closely with him and the number of times in the last couple of days that she has said "I cannot believe he is doing this". But I can. Because I know exactly what he is like and how he will operate. The good thing from this is that now everyone will know what he is like.

EA people toxic people narc people like him, unless you've lived with one you cannot comprehend. And the apple didn't fall far from the tree. he learnt it from his mother, hence me not contacting her

oldbaghere Fri 20-Dec-13 05:28:51

What Andro and Penelope said.

i talked to DC1 last night. I kind of get what he is saying. Without going into all the gory details, he and DC2 know I am not pleased and know I'm not a bit happy. Partly they are so conditioned that they have to be there for contact and the fear and all that has been said, yes it's that in part.

But it's also. Contact is court ordered for the younger ones. I ahve to send them. I'm asking them to be without their siblings on Christmas Day because I have to send the younger ones.

And my ex inlaws family dynamic is toxic. DC want to be there partly to protect younger dc (I will explain that in a bit) and also to ensure that they leave on time so that they are with me for 6 and no later.

A family member in their teens who will be at Christmas day with my in-laws is psychologically bullying at an extreme level. This child has, for example, told a child in school who was upset that they should "do the decent thing and commit suicide". My older DC don't want to leave my younger DC open to that and will be watching and protecting the younger DC. Which they and I know right well their father will not do.

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 23:14:30

I was kind of thinking of the OP.

She didn't go along with it, she extricated herself from the relationship and has tried to protect her children as much as possible in the best way she knew how. Unfortunately, the courts don't seem to realise how damaging contact with an EA parent can be and/or only see the good side of the person in court (ditto SS etc) so contact is deemed beneficial and an order made. The OP has complied with the order and been reasonable about other important events - these are the acts of a good parent and she can't be faulted for them - the kicker is that her ex defines unreasonable and there's little she can do (other than pick up the pieces when her DC figure out that they fairly effectively pooped all over their hurting mother and grandfather as well as their dying grandmother).

PenelopePipPop Thu 19-Dec-13 22:34:42

"Going on what OP had said in the course of the thread, it's because they've been so conditioned by an EA prick of a father that they are scared of what will happen if he doesn't get 'his' time. The 8pm drop off is a hold over from/part of the contact arrangement for older and younger ones respectively."

This.

Which is why accusing the children of immaturity or demanding they 'know' the impact of the situation misses the point. They almost certainly know but what are they meant to do when caught between an abuser on one side and two hurting people on the other. We don't empower people who may be victims of abuse by ramping up the bullying on both sides. We empower them by letting them know we respect their choices and will love them no matter what - which the OP and her mother very clearly do.

If the ex here has been being a twat about access for years and years they may have suffered a lot of hurt about these arrangements already - children always always always know when there are petty squabbles between adults about who pays for what, or who will be where when and it always hurts. Because the message they get is that for Dad scoring points over Mum counts more to him than being with them. So they redouble their efforts to please Dad. Which will never work because actually this isn't about them. A man who lacks the compassion to say 'I'm so sorry about this terrible news. Of course you need to spend Christmas together' will never be able to place his children's needs ahead of his own. His children however, have spend decades trying to put his needs ahead of theirs to get him to love them.

The morally right thing for the children to do may be to say 'Dad this Chrismas we need to be with Mum and Grandma'. But they can only do the right thing if they know the OP's got their back and will understand if that is too hard. Not because she's furious and hurting too.

MoominMammasHandbag Thu 19-Dec-13 22:32:33

OP I really think you should be addressing a portion of your righteous anger towards your adult children. They are being pretty spineless to be honest, either that or pretty callous. They are adults, it is up to them where they spend Christmas Day; they shouldn't be hiding behind the excuse that Daddy made them do it.

Vivacia Thu 19-Dec-13 22:12:36

I get that, I was kind of thinking of the OP.

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 22:09:52

Speaking from my own experience (my mother is beyond toxic) people outside their trusted inner circle just don't know; my father is under no illusions and will not accept her behaviour, but extended family/friends/acquaintances outside of her inner circle believe she is the wonderful, caring, engaged society matriarch she appears to be. Not a single member of her normal social circle would believe me if I told them she regret having me, thinks I'm a freak, thought it was funny when one of my brothers nearly killed me or any of the other things she's done over the years. People like this are adept at playing the 'game', appearances can be very deceiving.

The trusted inner circle are as toxic as the person him or herself and/or cowed by the strength of toxic person's personality.

Flatassantassacks Thu 19-Dec-13 21:58:48

I haven't read every single post but I cannot abide when people say 'I lost my grandma' and I was in bits like you. Yeah with all due respect losing a. Grandparent is horrible. Losing a parent? Until recently I knew how this felt and a 'friend' insists on trying to match it up with her losing her grandad last year. She lost her grandad at 34, I lost my dad at 34.

It's not a competition but until you actually go through, you can't know how it feels so don't try to by saying you do.

sorry I digress. Just a pet hate.

OP I'm with the majority, fuck him.

Sorry about your mum.

Vivacia Thu 19-Dec-13 21:56:44

If that's right Andro then that's terrible for the children. Why would you go along with that? (Other adults I mean, not the "children").

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 21:46:50

I don't understand why grown ups are being dropped off at 8 (or 6 by mistake) so that they can get a good night's sleep. I don't understand why they aren't making their own plans for Christmas involving friends and boy/girlfriends' families as well as their own.

Going on what OP had said in the course of the thread, it's because they've been so conditioned by an EA prick of a father that they are scared of what will happen if he doesn't get 'his' time. The 8pm drop off is a hold over from/part of the contact arrangement for older and younger ones respectively.

Vivacia Thu 19-Dec-13 21:45:18

I'm sure these children and adults have a close and loving relationship with their grandmother, given how the OP feels they should spend Christmas with her, so their behaviour is puzzling.

However it's not necessarily a sign of immaturity to not want to spend time with a grandparent.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 19-Dec-13 21:41:35

If you don't tell the children how upset your Mum is at the thought of not seeing them, will they be devastated afterwards? They shouldn't need telling they should be with Granny but as they appear immature maybe they need it pointing out the regrets they might have?

Vivacia Thu 19-Dec-13 21:38:07

OP, this sounds terrible, terrible news for you and your mum to have received. It would make me feel so angry as well as upset. I do wonder if you are directing some of this anger towards your children and ex?

He's being incredibly unreasonable by refusing to be flexible. However, I think you are both being unreasonable for involving the children in this. He by getting them to phone their grandmother and you for telling them that you'd find it very difficult to forgive them not spending Christmas Day with their grandmother.

I don't understand why grown ups are being dropped off at 8 (or 6 by mistake) so that they can get a good night's sleep. I don't understand why they aren't making their own plans for Christmas involving friends and boy/girlfriends' families as well as their own.

I agree with ghoul that I'd be taking power and influence away from your ex by not making Christmas Day the major thing. Make it one of a few important, happy days over the Christmas period.

TalkativeJim Thu 19-Dec-13 21:27:50

I quite like get fucked too actually.

It's strangely unemotional too.

Him: 'I would like to request that the children can be with me on x Weekend blah blah blah long involved supercilious text'

OP: get fucked

Not even a capital letter. Not a punctuation mark wasted on him.

get fucked

BruthasTortoise Thu 19-Dec-13 21:26:23

Jeez sock I don't think either I or the OP could cope with double the trouble grin

Andro Thu 19-Dec-13 21:13:08

It doesn't need to be face to face OP, it just needs to be calm and in the 'you need to this so that you can be prepared' format.

With that said, you know your dc and the rest of us don't so you have to go with your instincts.

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